Cemetery Symbolism 4 – The Anchor
It’s time once again to talk about the symbols of the graveyard. Today we talk about:-
The symbol of an anchor most obviously denotes the grave of a sailor, particularly if there is a rank and/or ship name also inscribed on the stone.
There is a story that when a sailor retired from his adventures at sea, he would carry an anchor over his shoulder. The mariner would continue to walk inland until, at last, someone would enquire why he was carrying his heavy load. It was at this moment the old sailor would know he had travelled far enough to make a new home and see out his life on land and away from the sea.
As well as a dead sailor, the anchor may evoke steadfastness and solid reliability, a strong character who stuck with his convictions in life. Someone upon which you could depend.
NOTE: As with most things symbolic, the true meaning of symbols found on graves and headstones are always open to interpretation. Wherever possible I attempt to highlight the most plausible, most interesting, or most widely accepted explanation.
© Colin Lawson Books